'A rich and generous life' taken away by young driver
A MEDICAL student from Fetcham was killed by a drunk driver while cycling across America for charity.
David Williams, 26, of Bell Lane, died on the second day of a 4,000-mile bike ride in aid of Find Your Feet, the poverty relief charity for which his mother works.
The keen cyclist, about to start his fourth year studying medicine at Imperial College London, was killed near Oceano in California by a 20-year-old driving a 4x4 vehicle.
David's father Bill said: "The tragedy for me is that a rich and generous life has been taken away in a reckless act by a foolish young man."
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David's parents, who planned a holiday to coincide with his trip, saw him off from Los Angeles and were due to meet him on the evening of his second day.
But on arriving at San Francisco on June 26, the day after he died, they were met by police with the news of his death.
Mr Williams asked to meet the man who killed his son.
"He was crying and shaking and extremely apologetic. He said to me, 'I wish it was me, not your son'," he said.
"It was so avoidable. David was a fine young man who would have done a lot of great things.
"If you speak to any of his friends they will say he was just a bit more special than the other lads."
David went to Eastwick Junior School and the Howard of Effingham. He travelled to Costa Rica as a volunteer after finishing sixth form.
After meeting other volunteers giving immunisations to locals, he set his heart on becoming a doctor.
He did not have the grades, so David went back to Strode's College in Egham, leaving with four A grades and a place at medical school.
He planned to start a community hospital teaching first aid in South America after graduating.
Despite the tragedy of his death, David's mother Betty believes some good will come from it.
She said: "I think it's already inspiring people to want to do things.
"I kind of feel I have got to live up to him. He was wonderful at accepting and achieving challenges and doing things for people less fortunate than him."
And now Mrs Williams is planning to take up where David left off, to complete his American cycle challenge.
She said: "I think we might do it as a relay. People can do it for him or just for themselves to see if they can, or for charity.
"They would all be things David would be really proud of them for."
David is also survived by sister Laura Williams, 29, who lives in Epsom Downs.
His funeral will be held in St Mary's Parish Church in Fetcham at 2.30pm next Thursday, and anyone who knew him is welcome.
To make a donation in his memory visit www.justgiving.com/davidwilliams